Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sunday, April 21, 2013 – San Juan, Puerto Rico – Partly Cloudy – 85F

Embarkation Day

After our typical breakfast – we arranged for a cab to take us to the port.  The port is not far away but not walkable.  The cab ride costs $12 plus tip.  The embarkation port is across the bay from the ports where ships dock during a cruise.  This made sense since the latter ports do not have a terminal for check in.

We chatted with a member of the Entertainment Staff as we boarded and she told us the Cruise Director was Clodagh O’Connor, the same HelloClo we sailed with two years ago on the Jewel of the Seas.  A marvelous plus.

The process here is a bit different – instead of porters running out to meet you as you get out of your cab you queue up and turn your bags over to porters.  We find out that we are in Cabin 9343 and relinquish our bags and head for the Windjammer Cafe Island Grill for lunch.  The layout of the Windjammer on the Adventure OTS is a little different from other Voyager class ships.  The far aft section is occupied by a bar and pre-poured soft drinks (iced tea and lemonade) stand.  Food is found on long buffet areas – there is virtually no waiting since the food areas are redundant.

My lunch  - tuna sandwich, salad, and pizza were very good – a good sign.

After lunch, I went to visit the Maitre D’ in the Dining Room (there are three dining rooms – all named after classic composers- Mozart, Strauss, and Vivaldi.  I asked the Maitre D’ for a table for two (we were at Main Seating – a miracle in its own right but at a table for eight) and he said we could have table Table 274 (right next to our original table – 275) and that he could make it for two (taking away two settings).  Miracle or miracles and no Jedi Mind Trick needed.

 20130421_Atrium (Small)

Royal Promenade

20130421_Carnival Valor and old San Juan (Small)

Carnival Valor docked in Old San Juan

20130421_The Bridge (Small)

Peek-a-boo Bridge

From the Solarium on Deck 12, we could see the area of San Juan where our hotel was located (look closely – right near the dome shaped building) (below).

20130421_The area of our Hotel (Small)

20130421_SJ Catheral (Small)

San Juan Cathedral

20130421_Old Town and Morro  Fort (Small)

Old San Juan

20130421_getting comfy (Small)

Relaxing in the Solarium

20130421_NCL Gem arriving (Small)

NCL Gem arriving in San Juan

We don’t depart until 8:30 PM – at 4:30 PM, we met with Becky Smith, the Activities Manager to go over the Program for the Cruise.  The Destination Speaker is Ben Sodek, and the other Special Interest Speaker is Megh Raj Goyal (Health and Gardening).  I am scheduled to speak every Sea Day.

Dinner in the Vivaldi Dining Room (Deck 3) was great – we have two fine waiters and the food comes very quickly.  The food is good, we have an unobstructed view of the ocean (thanks to a no-show table for 12) and the coffee is served hot.

The night time sail away is very nice (our first).

20130421_Gem and Valor our Sailaway (Small)

The Carnival Valor and NCL Gem – Sail Away

20130421_Sailaway SJ (Small)

Adios, San Juan, Puerto Rico

The Welcome Aboard Show consisted of Clo and Becky explaining the activities ahead, a terrific set by a comedian named Rodney, and a brief number by three of the RC Singers.  Guest speakers were asked to sit in the front row and I got a chance to get up and wave when introduced.

20130421_Welcome Aboard Show (Small)

RC Singers performing – Welcome Aboard Show

Our room is OK with a nice shower.  However, even though we are on Deck 9, there is a vibration in our room (maybe from the engines since we are in the aft section).  We will see how that works out.

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